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Womens Participation-- Politics

Series/Special. A forum honoring women in politics. (Stereo)

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02:06:00

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480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 21, Massachusetts 7, U.s. 6, Angelina Grimke 6, John Simmons 5, Washington 5, Boston 5, Danforth 4, Shirley Chisholm 3, United States 3, Clarence Thomas 3, Esther 3, Florida 3, Elizabeth Warren 3, Persia 3, Missouri 3, Gloria Steinem 2, Lbj 2, India 2, Iraq 2,
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  CSPAN    Womens Participation-- Politics    Series/Special. A forum  
   honoring women in politics. (Stereo)  

    December 9, 2013
    1:50 - 3:56am EST  

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break that down? >> well, okay. as briefly as possible -- this is clearly at the heart of it. and in the real world, this is going to come back to parliament and parliament is going to have -- congress -- all countries with security services are going to work out -- going to have to work out this question of oversight. but those committees seem to me may have the political talent and the society that you couldn't represent the public interest of things that are not purely security. >> one question -- >> your journalist said in the documentary pool that he took top secret encrypted documents back to his flat as mr. austin pointed out to you. and in an on-line interview with buzzfeed with david miranda, one of the staff was due to carrying stolen secret files, got cold feet, and they were sent via federal express. did you know that federal express conditions of carriage include in section 8, subsection 16 that would be an unauthorized
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thing to do. i think you said to mr. rex that you had used federal express. my question to you, quite frankly, bearing all that in mind do you not accept that you have at the very least been woefully irresponsible with secret information and thereby people's lives. >> the question is about wikileaks, not about this story at all. it's got nothing to do with this story. no, i don't accept your premise. >> thank you. >> can we clarify the situation where you go from here -- where the guardian goes from here. the prime minister said in the house, some describe it as intimidation. used whatever word one would like. will the guardian continue to publish despite all of that, revelations from snowden, would you consider have been in the
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public domain? >> we have been working slowly and rep responsibly with hundreds of journalists in the world. we're going to continue to consult them. we're not going to be put off by intimidation nor are we going to behave recklessly. >> glad to hear that. >> mr. flynn has the final? >> what question do you think the committee should ask the head of mi-5, bearing in mind he likes advanced notice of questions? [laughter] >> well, i think the question that mr. hallpert raises in the end is the crucial one. i've met most of the heads of agencies and i know that serious people who think about these things but equally, it's apparent that some elements of intelligence services, not necessarily like ours, have been a bit out of control literally. they were not in the control of people who should have known about it.
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that's a dangerous state of affairs. and if it's true of america, it's to some extent true here because the relationship between nsa and gchq. so i think the question for the head of mi-5 is the one that mr. halpert raised which is what is the forum in which this can be meaningfully overseen with people who have understanding of technology, adequately resourced, and understand the broader questions and broader public interests of civil society which are engaged by these questions. >> you're quite satisfied those who protect your country by gathering information and dealing with terrorist organizations like al qaeda, al shebab and other organizations have not been undermined by what you have done and those who sleep safely in our beds tonight could not be undermined at all by the guardian. >> the biggest threat is when you work a situation where there are people inside the organizations who are so
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troubled by what they see and are troubled by the relationship between the legality of what's going on and what engineers can now do. what president obama now said what they can do as opposed to what they should do. as long as they have people amongst these hundreds of thousands of people who are so troubled they're going to leak these massive data bases to generate the public debate that the president says is necessary, then you have no security. and president clinton talked the other day about we're in danger of having a world where there's no privacy and no security. that's a bad situation for everyone. so i think there's material conversations to be had as a result of what's been published. >> thank you very much. you've been clear and open in your evidence. thank you. order, could i have the commissioner, please? [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> tomorrow, british prime minister david cameron and members of the house of common will offer tributes to nelson mandela who died on thursday at the age of 95. live coverage from parliament beginning at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span 2. >> next is a discussion on women in politics. kagan --ear from elena kagan.ena span, offering complete gavel coverage of the u.s. house
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, all as a public service of private industry. c-span, created by the cable tv industry and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. you can watch us in hd. years ago, a woman become the first american woman to address a legislative body. discussionpan, a honoring this early feminist and a look at women in politics today. from simmons college in boston, this does just over two hours. ♪
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[applause] welcome, everyone. moderator.our we are here tonight to explore how women become political. we will look at the past, pressing, and consider the future. there will be remarks in a panel discussion. elizabeth warren is unable to meet us because she needs to be in washington. someone has to work. she is there to work in the senate. [cheers and applause] however, she has made a short video for us that we will share and place -- play some of the remarks you would have given. we invite you to tweet and send
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in your questions via twitter at womenpoli2013. -- silence your cell phones right now. is everyone moving to silence their cell phones? good. for those who could not attend tonight, the good news is that the event is being paid by the bank committee. span for viewing later on this fall. we want to highlight the three most important. the first is a committee. it is a group of accomplished women were the prime movers behind this event. help inspire girls of diverse
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backgrounds to embrace politics as their world. you will find them and their message in the program book. to organizations that were founded. her vision for women in politics has helped to transform the landscape. she will be joining our panel. the third -- [applause] it is a right. it is ok. simmons has provided essential financial operational and logistical support for this event. the eighth president of simmons college, the only women's college in boston has used her business and leadership experience to guide the institution to a position of competitive strength financially, operationally, and academically.
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is an advocate of women's education as a pathway to success and has used the platform of college president to advance and highlight president helen drinan of simmons college. [applause] >> thank you. good evening from all of us at simmons college. we are honored to serve as the major academic sponsor for this event. when gloria steinem visited simmons last spring, she explained to us that anyone who believes in equal rights for both men and women is a feminist. surely the woman we celebrate this evening, angelina grimke, was not only an abolitionist, but also an early feminist. i would also like to suggest to
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that the founder of simmons college, john simmons, a true ally of women of his age, was also a feminist. at the very time in 1838 that angelina grimke was speaking to the massachusetts state legislature against slavery and for a woman's right to vote, only a mile away in the north end, john simmons was actively growing his tailoring business, employing many women here in boston and in the countryside around the city. having observed that most of his customers fell into standard sizes, he departed from custom tailoring and innovated the retail industry by creating the man's off-the-rack suit. at the end of the civil war, john simmons had become the largest clothing manufacturer in the united states.
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at the time of his death in 1870, his will records his intention for his great wealth. to found and endow an institution to be called simmons female college for the purpose of teaching branches of art, science, and industry, best calculated to enable the scholars to acquire an independent livelihood. recognizing the importance of being able to move beyond the menial work and menial wages to which most women of the day were subject, john simmons has enabled generations of women to lead and self advocate, empowered with their own resources. those of us who have delighted so enormously from john simmons's philanthropy are delighted to be with you to witness the work of our founders contemporary, angelina grimke.
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we hope you enjoy the evening, and thank you for joining us. [applause] >> we have got some powerhouses in the audience with us tonight. not just here on the stage. we want to acknowledge some of the remarkable women officeholders who are present as well as their male allies. i will ask each group to stand and remain standing. please hold your applause until the end. i know that is going to be tough but really try. we are honored to have present tonight a number of women who were each the first woman to hold a different statewide office. i ask that all of them stand again while you hold your applause. evelyn murphy, the first woman elected lieutenant governor. shannon o'brien, the first woman elected state treasurer.
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jane swift, the first woman to serve as governor. martha coakley, the first woman elected state attorney general. suzanne bump, the first woman elected state auditor. and elizabeth warren, the first woman senator from massachusetts in the u.s. senate. let's have a little applause right there. [applause] in addition, we have a number of other important female elected officials who have led the way for women in the state. female great and general court elected representatives, female mayors and other female-elected officials we are honored to have present as well.
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steve grossman, treasurer of the commonwealth. and would other male elected officials stand in support of the cause of women in politics. [applause] tonight's event was sparked by a milestone in women's political activism. 175 years ago, right here in boston, angelina grimke, a white southerner from charleston, south carolina became the first american woman to address a legislative body. tonight, we are honored to have her great great grandson, mark mason here with us. please give him applause. [applause]
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angelina grimke's purpose in addressing the legislative body was to present petitions bearing the signatures of 20,000 massachusetts women, black and white, to a joint committee of the general court. the petitioner sought to have congress end slavery in the district of convio but before angelina grimke spoke about the issue of slavery, she knew she had to address the elephant in the room. the fact that she was a woman giving a speech to group of elected officials, not to mention her other audience, all the men and women who had crowded into the house chamber. hers was a radical act in 1838. not only because women could not vote or run for office, but also because of the firm societal conviction that women do not belong in what was called the public sphere. indeed, a woman who spoke to a
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mixed audience of men and women gathered for any purpose was considered a seductress. since she was putting her body on display before men. in the remarks we will hear tonight, which are the only part of the speech that exists today, she tackled the charge of seductress head-on by distancing her unorthodox action from that of another petitioning woman, the famous a local figure, queen esther of persia. the audience knew that queen esther, like the king's other women, lived in the harem and served him sexually. it was not her place to request anything of her king. but one day, risking her life, she begged him to save her people, the babylonian jews. here is actress anne gottlieb to share the opening of the speech that day.
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[applause] >> february 21, 1838. mr. chairman, more than 2000 years have rolled their dark and bloody waters down the rocky, winding channel of time into the broad ocean of eternity. since a woman's voice was heard in the palace of an eastern monarch and a woman's petition achieved the salvation of millions of her race from the edge of the sword. the queen of persia, if queen she might be called, who was but the mistress of her voluptuous lord, trained in the secret abominations of an oriental harem, had studied too deeply the character not to know the
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sympathies of his heart could not be reached except through the medium of his sensual appetites. hence, we find her arrayed in royal apparel, standing in the inner court of the king's house hoping by her personal charm, to win the favor of her lord, and after the golden scepter had been held out, and inquiry was made, what wilt thou, queen esther and what is thy request? it shall be given thee to half of my kingdom. even then, she dared not ask for her own life or that of her people. she felt that if her mission of mercy was to be successful, his animal propensities must be
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still more powerfully wrought upon. the luxurious feast must be prepared. the banquet of wine must be served up and the favorable moment must be seized. when gorged with gluttony and intoxication, the king's heart was fit to be operated upon by the prophetic appeal. if i have found favor in thy sight, o king, and if it please the king, let my life be given at my petition and my people at my request. it was thus, through personal charms and sensual gratification and individual influence that the queen of persia obtained the precious boon she craved. her own life and the life of her beloved people.
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mr. chairman, it is my privilege to stand before you on a similar mission of life and love, but i thank god we live in an age of the world too enlightened and too moral to admit of the adoption of the same means to obtain as holy an end. i feel it would be an insult to the committee were i to array my person in gold and silver and costly apparel, or by inviting them to partake of the luxurious feast or the banquet of wine. i understand the spirit of age to well to believe that you could be moved by such sensual means. means as unworthy of you as they would be beneath the dignity of the cause of humanity. yet i feel if you are to be
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reached at all, it would not be by me but by the truths i shall endeavor to present to your understandings and your heart. the heart of the eastern despot was reached through the lowest propensities of his animal nature by personal influence. yours i know can't be reached but through the loftier sentiments of intellectual and moral feelings. i stand before you as a citizen, on behalf of the 20,000 women of massachusetts whose names are enrolled on petitions, which have been submitted to the legislature of which you are the organ. these petition to relate to the great and solemn subject of american slavery. a subject fraught with the
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deepest interest to the republic, whether we regard it in its political, moral, or religious aspects, and because it is political, it has often been tauntingly said that a woman has nothing to do with it. are we aliens because we are women? are we bereft of citizenship because we are the mothers, wives, and daughters of a mighty people? have women no country? no interest, state in public weal, no liabilities in common peril, no partnership in a nation's guilt and shame? let the history of the world answer these queries. read the denunciations of jehovah against the follies and crimes of israel's daughters.
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trace the influence of woman of quarters in an mistress in those mysteries ancient and modern and see her wielding her power, too often to debase and destroy rather than to elevate and save. it is often said that women rule the world through their influence over men. if so, then may we well hide our faces in the dust and cover ourselves with sackcloth and ashes. it has not been through women's moral and intellectual power, but through the baser passions of man. this dominion of women must be resigned to this, the sooner the better. in the age which is approaching, she should be something more. she should be a citizen. and this title which demands an
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increase of knowledge and of reflection opens before her a new empire. i hold, mr. chairman, that american women have to do with this subject, not only because it is moral and religious, but because it is political. inasmuch as we are citizens of this republic, and as such, our honor, happiness, and our well- being are bound up in its politics and government and laws. i stand before you as a southerner. exiled from the land of my birth by the sound of the lash and the piteous cry of the slave. i stand before you as a repentant slaveholder.
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i stand before you as a moral being endowed with the precious and inalienable rights which are correlated with solemn duties and high responsibilities. as a moral being, i feel i owe it to the suffering slave and to the deluded master, to my country and to the world to do all i can to overturn a system of complicated crimes, built on the broken hearts and prostrate bodies of my countrymen in chains and cemented by the blood and sweat and tears of my sisters in bond. thank you. [applause] >> anne gottlieb.
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as angelina grimke, fabulous. angelina grimke's actions built the foundation for women who became political after her. let's hear from three of those women, each of whom has her own story to tell about her path to political action. gloria steinem is a writer, lecturer, and feminist activist, and i would say so much more. [cheers and applause] >> i never imagined that i would be following angelina grimke. [laughter] but in another way, i have
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always been following angelina grimke and sojourner truth and frederick douglass and shirley chisholm and patsy mink all the leaders that understood the twin caste systems of sex and race are intertwined and can only be uprooted together. i have been asked by lucy knight, from whose forehead came, that this conference has sprung to speak personally about how i became political. i am hyper-aware i had an advantage that angelina did not have, which is a mother who, if you said the word roosevelt to her, tears came to her eyes because she was so convinced that eleanor and franklin had
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understood us -- despite being born class levels above us -- had cared about us during the great depression, and had rescued us from her days of making soup out of potato peelings and my sister's coat out of a blanket. all of my childhood years, i heard a story of life that included politics. it was just something you did every day. it was not a career. necessarily. it was not something removed, certainly. it was an organic part of our lives, something we needed to live. then after college, i went to india where i lived for two years. there i saw people lined up for days -- almost as long as
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florida -- to vote. independence had taught them important that power was. they knew clearly that the only place on earth where the most powerful equalled the least powerful is the voting booth, and it is still true to this day that the young and the poor in india vote more than the older and the well-to-do. the very opposite of the voting patterns we see here ourselves. when i first tried to work in a campaign, however, on a mimeograph machine, how many people here remember the word "mimeograph"? i was told with some other young women to hide in a room upstairs because they were afraid we would otherwise be seen as
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having an affair with the candidate. this sort of sums up the role of women inside the campaigns at that point. nonetheless, i could see that campaigns were incredibly exciting, were open, people could come in off the street and help, they were diverse. i became immediately hooked on the whole process of campaigning. i stayed hooked as a volunteer for a very long time. through kennedy, i think i was sent out to get pizza all the time in the kennedy campaign. through lbj, we ran a discotheque for lbj. [laughter] it became clear to me and to so
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many of us that we would not be able to be active politically unless we had a force outside either party by ourselves on our own bringing out the issues. i would like to say on this subject of parties, that the republican party was historically better about women's equality than the democratic party and supported the equal rights amendment first. it is the republican party that has deserted women, not that women have deserted the republican party. we worked to get our issues into the mcgovern campaign. the only time i ever ran for office myself was as a delegate for shirley chisholm. clearly going to lose, all of us on her slate, but determined nevertheless. i testified for the equal rights amendment mainly because someone told me i should. it did not occur to me that
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anyone other than a constitutional authority would be testifying there. i worked on my testimony for weeks. it made no difference whatsoever. i began to think more about organizing outside the campaigns and the political structure. so i think that has been my path ever since. with the national women's political caucus, with voters for choice, it is possible for us to both educate on issues, educate the candidates and the people in the party on the issues and gather the constituency around those issues so we have the power to see that they will succeed. it is a path i recommend to you. i guess i am a classic activist- volunteer. i have never had a paid
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position. i have written speeches, worked in campaigns, but never actually been paid. because i think i thought if i were an employee i would not be able to press, to say, this is what is necessary to get this kind of support. but i always remembered my mother, who used to say democracy is something you do every day. democracy is like brushing your teeth. it has to be something we do every day. otherwise, the power will be taken away from us. i thought of this especially after the 2000 election when i happened to be speaking at palm beach county community college the morning after the election, just quite by accident. and there were about 700 people
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in that auditorium, and over the next few hours, we had no idea of the outcome, whether it would be bush or gore. we did not know. but people began to stand up and say how their vote had been taken away from them. that they were kept from their voting place by police cars, or that their buses had come from a senior home and taken them to the wrong place. or that they only realized afterwards that the nature of the ballot had caused them to vote for candidate they did not know they were voting for. and slowly, slowly, slowly, of about the 720 people in that auditorium, more than 100 had been not able to vote and i took their names and addresses and i gave them to lawyers, and one man stood up and said he was a veteran, in the name of his
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little daughter, would i stay and help them march against this illegal election? now, i say that because there was -- it made me remember, and all the subsequent events which everyone here will remember, the ruling of the supreme court, that clinched it. i remembered that in missouri, three decades before, more or less, i had campaigned for harriet woods for the senate of the united states, and she had been within one percentage point, but she ran out of money, the television ads were very negative, and she lost by a very heartbreaking margin in beating john danforth who became the senator from missouri. all right.
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that was a long time before, right, but let me just say -- it was less than 2000 votes that made the difference. for instance, it was so clearly about money and about last- minute money that her race was the inspiration for starting emily's list, which means early money is like yeast. it was clear that she could and should have won. because she lost, because not enough people in missouri and not enough women voted, danforth had once hired a young man named clarence thomas who had left his studies as a catholic priest to go to law school, sharing danforth's idea of nation of church and state. elevated to the u.s. senate, danforth sought out this rare black conservative, took him out of his job as a corporate lawyer for monsanto, made him a legislative ad, and championed
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him every step of the way. he became chairman of the equal opportunity commission. he made everyone watch "the fountainhead" because he was a devotee of ayn rand. you can't make this stuff up. [laughter] he served in the d.c. court of appeals and so on. we all know what happened. so, i just want to say to you that when we think about our individual votes and our activism, we need to remember the parable about for want of a nail, the horseshoe was lost and for want of a horse, the battle was lost. because of clarence thomas' vote
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-- if danforth had not been a senator, he would not have taken clarence thomas. if he had not had those credentials he would not have been nominated by the same president bush. he would not have been the one vote margin that halted the florida court ordered recount and put the second president bush in the white house, even though independent counts later showed that indeed gore had won the state of florida. then bush ii, all this is for want of a nail, right -- bush ii could not have not caused another optional war in iraq, the biggest transfer of wealth to private hands in the history of the nation, another optional war in iraq, high-level
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disbelief in global warming, public schools with abstinence only education enforced by federal funding that helped to create the highest unwanted pregnancy rate in the entire developed world, or an executive order giving billions in tax dollars to faith-based centers of right wing political power. or the global gag rule that deprived poor countries of u.s. foreign aid if they offered any information about abortion, even with their own funds. or even with corporate profiteering and privatized wars abroad as well as privatized prison at home. prisons we do not need but state legislatures vote and they are run by corporations, or a higher percentage of the u.s. population in prison as a result than in any other country in the world. ceo's whose salary rose from 30 times that of the average worker
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before the right-wing backlash took over washington to an average of 8000 times, or an unregulated financial industry that led to worldwide economic meltdown or an even greater polarization of people and nations into rich and poor, or the turning of terrorism from a cause for global unity into a cause for deeper global division. and so, so much more. so each of us is the nail, and each of us can win the battle. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. [cheers]
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our next speaker has been the top of the ticket the first go round and the top of the ticket in the preliminary elections for boston. [cheers and applause] >> good evening. today, we commemorate the historic and audacious demonstration of our fellow sister angelina grimke. who went boldly before the general court to say, i stand before you as a citizen. we pay tribute to her and the knowledge this moment that i, for one, am so very grateful we are. as a black woman i know i am certainly, we all are beneficiaries of her bold action.
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but what i also know as that moment, the one we honor here today was a very long time in the making. both in the personal evolution of grimke, for the abolitionists and women's movement and for our country. you see, before angelina was a woman, she was a girl. so for me, the conversation must begin there. before we can even begin to consider how women become political, let's first address the girl on the journey to womanhood. the girls i spend time with every day, the girl that exists inside all of us, the girl who is stunted and heard the government and empowerment because she lived in a world that all too often refuses to see her, to listen to her,
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the 18-year-old college freshman who wants to run for student government president, but instead settles for secretary, the 17-year-old girl who does not raise her hand in class, the openly gay 15-year-old girl who feels unsafe in her community and at school, the 16-year-old girl who feels degraded when men holler at her when she is walking down the street, the 14-year-old girl in an unhealthy relationship with her first love, and the 12-year-old girl who does not believe she can excel at math or science. broken girls grew up to be broken women. and as a society, we quite simply cannot afford that. i strive daily to chip away at systemic lies and social determinants like poverty and violence that contribute to the brokenness of so many of our girls. the chief issue that is so much
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harder to get at, something i cannot legislate, is the insidious and permeating impact of girls who do not know their worth, who do not know their power. i know something about that. for many years and for many reasons, i struggled to stand fully in my power. i allowed others to determine when and where i would enter. i did not feel good enough, smart enough, ready. those nagging feelings, that mental tape of unworthiness i played in my head was an albatross, an impediment, a shackle i did not even know i was wearing. as young girl when i met with this life epiphany, when i realized that although my troubled past informed my present, i did not have to be hostage to that past.
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i was finally able to stand fully in my own power. and in that moment, liberate myself. and ultimately, set on a pathway to a position where i liberate legions of girls and women daily. who similarly struggled. as i consider my journey to becoming political, i suppose i could tell you it was in church. where i first learned to stand before an audience and project my voice and command the attention of a room. i suppose i could tell you about my mother, my shero, her inspiring example as an organizer and activist for the urban league, how she sacrificed her very life to ensure that i would never be denied or deprived an opportunity in life, that she taught me the very best thing about politics and that is the strength and the power of advocacy.
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and she demonstrated that by her example in that she was a fierce advocate for me. i suppose i could tell you how running and being elected to numerous high school and college leadership positions provided a great political training ground. i guess i could then tell you about the rarefied attention i received. i could remind you i had made history twice because the people of this great city entrsuted me with the awesome responsibility and honor of representing you. i could tell you all these things, or i could just tell you the truth. it almost did not happen. the great shirley chisholm, a shero of mine, said she did not want to be remembered as the
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first black woman elected to congress nor as the first black woman to pursue the presidency. instead, she simply wanted to be remembered as a black woman who dared to be herself. so, sisters, this is our challenge and our charge, to ensure that every girl feels empowered to dare to be themselves, because then will they ever truly dare to be political. thank you. [applause] >> all right. [applause]
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elizabeth warren is the u.s. senator from massachusetts. while she greatly regrets she cannot be with us tonight, she sent us a video instead. please note that this video was taped before the events of the government shutdown. >> good evening, and thank you to the courtesy of the planning committee for inviting me to join you tonight. i wish i could be with you in person but we are going to have to settle for this video. i am glad to be here to mark the 175th anniversary of angelina grimke's historic speech to the massachusetts general assembly. it is an incredible time to celebrate the legacy of courageous women in the abolitionist movement.
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their efforts grew into the fight for suffrage and equal rights. this anniversary is also a reminder of the powerful impact we can have when we make our voices heard and we stand up for what we believe in. i never planned to get into politics. i spent pretty much my whole career as a teacher, and as a law professor, i taught bankruptcy and did research on the economic squeeze on middle class families. and then i got a call from a congressman who asked me to help advise a federal commission that was being set up. at first i told him no. i do not like politics and i did not want to get involved. but he had a hook. he persuaded me that i would have a chance to fight for working families. so i made my first trip to washington. for me, this first effort to try to help shape the laws that affect the lives of so many people ended up being about deep faith, faith that if we work hard and work together, we can
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make a difference that really matters. one bite led to another. bringing some account ability to the bank bailouts, adding a consumer agency passed into law and then setting up that agency. when i first proposed to protect people from the tricks and traps of big banks and credit card companies, people said it will never happen because washington lobbyists would make a first priority to stop us. and they fought us every inch of the way. but we organized and we brought together a broad coalition, and we won. and now the consumer agency is making a difference, holding big banks accountable, and it is already returned more than $800 million to people who were cheated on their credit cards and other financial products. it is pretty amazing.
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i am grateful to everyone who urged me to go ahead and jump in, to do oversight and set up an agency and run for the united states senate. i am grateful because i have had great opportunities to make a real difference for working families. i am proud to be serving today as the first woman elected to the senate from massachusetts and i am proud to fight for a level playing field for people all across the commonwealth. so i want to say thank you for inviting me to be part of this event. we need more women to get involved in politics. to run for office, to make their voices heard, to fight for what they believe in, just like angelina grimke did 175 years ago, right here in massachusetts. thanks for your work. keep up the fight. [applause]
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>> now that our speakers have set the table for our panel discussion, i am pleased to invite both ambassador hunt and carrie healy, a former lieutenant governor of massachusetts and co-chair of political parity. [applause] >> you two lead political parity. it is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing the number of women serving in the highest levels of government.
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you have released a report taking a forensic look at states that have elected women to the highest offices and states that have not. your report zeroed in on certain political and demographic characteristics in that report and the differences in that state. give a brief summary before we open up the discussion. >> what we found is that when women describe why they do or do not run, it is quite different in terms of the level of office. so when you're talking about, for example, women running for congress or the governor's seat which is what carrie and i are focusing on, by the time to get to that level, they are talking about, i want to go in and i want to change the structure. when they are thinking about running at lower levels, it is about causes. but really, it is about reform when you get to the top.
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it is a different kind of encouragement and training they need at that point. we also found a real corroboration, that women, they need to be asked over and over and over. that is one of the things that is striking to me in terms of the people who are watching this panel here. i just think about the fact that gloria, you ask them to run and i am asking you to run. that means that you all have to ask each other four times. each person here in this audience or watching this some other way has to do four asks of your friends and then we are there. [laughter] >> do you want to add to that?
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your brainstorm, the brilliant idea and the research on that. >> it is so cool. we have done four or five pieces of research. you can go to the website and look it up under political parity. my favorite one is when you look at the map of the united states, and you note how many women senators are actually in pairs from california or washington or whatever, and then, if you start noting how many have like one senator, one woman senator and one woman governor, it becomes clearly that it is not random. i remember in my earlier-time thinking, well, if you have one woman already in one of those top three positions, then no one is going to want to elect a second one because they will think they're overdoing it, you know?
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it turns out that the second woman has a boost. we do not know exactly why. it could be because of the obvious. people in the state have gotten used to electing a woman. it could be that there is a role modeling that is going on and more women are really thinking about becoming political, the women themselves, and some of the women in those positions have said, no, actually, i showed the next woman where the pockets of energy or the pockets of money were. it is like bringing the next one along. it is so exciting, because we have to find ways to really expand these numbers. we cannot just keep moving along. it takes 200 years at the rate we are going. i am not kidding. literally. you have to find ways to say, we already have one woman in this state come hell or high water.
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we are going to run a woman for governor and a woman for senator in that very state. and by the way, once you get two, it is more likely you will have a third, like in new hampshire. >> this is good news for our female gubernatorial candidates. >> the political parity project is a little bit unusual. if you are from here, our votes cancel out each other's every electoral cycle. and she raised money on several occasions for my opponent when i ran for governor. it is not immediately apparent why we would come together and work together to get more women into politics. we both felt that all of the wonderful efforts that everyone had been working on for so many years, and you actually were one of my first inspirations to get involved with politics, so if you want to know how women
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become political, sometimes it is looking at wonderful mentors like you. we knew that whatever was happening on a partisan basis was not working. republicans had been trying and democrats had been trying to advance women's careers, and it simply had not worked. and so, we needed to recognize that, admit it, and see if there were underlying causes that actually impacted everyone that we could agree on we needed to address. and so we brought together and swannee brought together women from the democratic side. i gathered together some politically active women from the republican side, and we started looking at the underlying causes and trying to investigate them. >> and doing it nationally. >> the first thing we looked at was the impact of sexual discrimination, sexual harassment of women candidates, and how that impacted them. as a former woman candidate, i can tell you, most consultants
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would have -- have told me and may have told you as well that if someone said something negative about you and you believe it may be gender-based, you do not mention it. do not say anything about it. you just take it and go. did you receive that advice? and that is good, because all that advice was wrong. so what we found was in fact, if you push back and recognize sexism when it is coming at you, it not only restores that woman's place in the polls, the numerical hit associated with sexism is very strong, almost nine points in some cases. if you push back, you not only make that space back up, but also some people who even just hear about it think better of you. so it is an advantage for a woman to stand up for herself to
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push back against sexist characterizations. >> you say in your next speech after something really negative, you will not believe what so- and-so said. and you repeat it. >> that was one of the first surprising things that we found. and then beyond that, we have done research that shows things that are pretty much validating things that we already know. like women get into politics because they care about something. they want to do something. they want to change something. whereas often men seem to get into politics for reasons that are more personal. or unknown. [laughter] women generally know the answer to the question about why are you in politics, that never stumps them. they know why they are there. we know the importance of mentors. mentors are very important to women and we need mentors who are a little bit ahead.
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the mentoring cannot just be seeing someone. it needs to be very hands-on, very involved with that person's life. we are going to encourage everyone to please think about who you can mentor. you not only have to ask people to run but you have to help them to run. and to model those behaviors. and then finally, part of our next research is going to be looking at why the republican party is lagging so seriously around the ability to elect women. and right now, the democratic party elects twice as many women as do the republicans. >> it is getting worse. i mean better. [laughter] >> we will find out why that is happening and put an and to them.
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>> people think -- i thought, not people, i thought fewer republican women were running compared to democratic women. turns out that republican women try to run or they do run at the same rate as democratic women, and they cannot get out of their primary. that is very different from the democratic experience. the reason we have to figure this out is because, i have worked in 60 countries and i have looked at parliament all over the world. if you get enough women, let's say 20% to 40% women in this party and in that party, they create a women's bloc. that is our hope for breaking gridlock. i feel so strongly about that. [applause] >> all right. that is a good start for our conversation.
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i will go back and go forward, if i may. mulala, the 16-year-old who was shot in the head and survived. she said i want to be a teacher because one book, one pen, and one teacher can change the world. last week at harvard she said i changed my mind. teachers are very, very important, but i want to be a politician because i can change the community. so to you ladies on the stage who have become political, let me borrow from oprah, what do you know for sure about the difference that women make in politics? >> we have done research all over the world, as i said. what we have found, with thousands of interviews as well as looking at quantitative data, is that women tend to be much more collaborative.
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and they are more practical. a woman in liberia says to me, we have these rice wars, i knew the price of a bag of rice. none of the men did. a woman in darfur gets into the peace talks. they're stymied, and she comes in at the seventh round, they are arguing about where the river should be. who gets the river, the different warring factions, and she listens and finally she says, that river dried up years ago. [laughter] i will never forget -- i will never forget when blanche lincoln from arkansas said, when congress reconvened after the summer, they were talking about minimum wage and she said, i went to target and i bought shoes for my twins to go back to school. i bought the notebooks and i bought the pens. you could not have bought those
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on minimum wage. i know the price. that to me is critical. >> so, practicality. >> women are introducing more laws and work hard to get them passed. they care deeply about content. it springs from that reason why they got into the government in the first place. they are committed to projects and have a passion for policy work. that is something that women bring to government. >> i think, you know, it is not that women are better than men. none of us think that. we do not have our masculinity to prove and this is a huge advantage. [laughter] [applause]
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so, more and more men, i hope, will be free from the prison of masculinity and we can all be human beings together. until that time -- [applause] on the average, we are all talking about averages and we are not talking about absolutely every female human being. this is not about biology. this is about consciousness, but the consciousness comes from experience. on the average, we are much more likely to vote for health education, welfare, anything against violence. there's a gender gap on all kinds of issues, and that is super-important that we bring that into the mainstream. i so want you to take over the republican party. i cannot begin to tell you. [applause]
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[laughter] [applause] thank you. >> i promised my college that i would stay out of politics for six years. i am not going back into politics for six years. >> i just want to say, in the spirit of truth, it was mostly old and terrible right-wing democrats that took over the republican party. it started with jesse helms. i rest my case. >> and strom thurmond. >> because after the civil rights act of 1964 was passed, they were very irate that the democratic party was becoming inclusive in all kinds of ways, especially racial. they started to -- 8000 fundamentalist baptist churches
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-- they took over the republican party levers of power gradually, so now you cannot get through the primaries to get into the general election as a smart, centrist conservative whatever, a perfectly sensible person. it is so dangerous to have one of our two parties controlled by extremists. of course, we get mad at the democrats. i am mad at the democrats every minute. then you find yourself voting for this other party. here's my plan. my plan is that we do what the right-wing democrats did and we go to the local caucuses and so on. even i am willing to look republican. i will take off this belt. [laughter] [applause] >> do you like my jacket? >> yes.
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we will infiltrate the caucuses. that is what they did. we will take them over. in four years, you will have a chaotic and terrible republican convention. and in eight years, you will have a good one. >> all because of women. >> let me say that i appreciate the framework for this conversation, in that it is how do women become political and not just run for elected office.
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